Read the full article by Tom Perkins (The Guardian)
“The number of US service members who have been exposed to toxic ‘forever chemicals’ is much higher than the military has claimed, a new independent analysis of Department of Defense data has found.
A Pentagon report that aims to assess the scope of PFAS chemical exposure on its bases, as well as health threats posed to service members, estimated about 175,000 troops across 24 facilities had drunk contaminated water.
But an analysis of the military’s report by the Environmental Working Group (EWG), a non-profit that tracks PFAS pollution, found the numbers are probably much higher and could top more than 640,000 people across 116 bases, and potentially even millions of people when past service members are factored in.
Moreover, the report seemed to omit health issues linked to PFAS exposure, such as kidney disease, testicular cancer and fetal effects. The overall report is ‘frustrating’, said Scott Faber, senior vice-president of government affairs with EWG.
‘The Department of Defense is trying to downplay these risks rather than aggressively seeking to notify service members and clean up its legacy pollution,’ he said. ‘It has long history of looking the other way when it comes to PFAS pollution.’
The DoD did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
PFAS are a class of about 12,000 chemicals often used to make products resist water, stain and heat. They are called forever chemicals because they do not naturally break down and persist in the environment. The chemicals are linked to cancer, liver disease, high cholesterol, thyroid disorders, birth defects and autoimmune dysfunction.
PFAS are thought to be contaminating drinking water for more than 200 million people nationally, and contamination has been found in and around hundreds of DoD bases at high levels because the chemicals are the main ingredient in firefighting foam the military uses.” …